Hanford Nuclear Reservation

In 1944, the U.S. pinned its hope on a secret project to win World War II. The government was counting on the B Reactor at Hanford in southeast Washington state to make enough plutonium in time. One of the physicists working against the clock was a 24-year-old woman: Leona (Woods) Marshall Libby.

About 10,000 people visit southeast Washington state’s Hanford Nuclear Reservation every year. And after a few hours on the bus, some are dazed like tourists who’ve seen one Italian cathedral too many.

On those tours, they have guides. But even folks who don’t come to Hanford’s physical site have a "tour guide" -- someone who can translate the language of Hanford and its nuclear legacy: Liz Mattson.

Federal officials are conducting an investigation after plutonium escaped off the Hanford nuclear site in Washington state. The plutonium is left over from a Cold War era factory at Hanford where plutonium was processed from a liquid into a solid form for bombs.

Wherever she was, she stood out for being half white, or half Japanese. Shirley Olinger will only whisper the racist names she was called as a girl.

In 1987, late in the Cold War, in a government reading room in Richland , Washington, a historian was studying newly released documents about the Hanford nuclear reservation. Then, a strange man approached her.

Hanford officials and community boosters In southeast Washington are hosting a celebration Thursday at an historic nuclear reactor. A signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday made the Manhattan Project National Historical Park official.

Cleaning up the central part of the Hanford nuclear reservation will take even longer. That’s the bottom line of a series of regional public comment meetings kicking off Wednesday in Richland, Washington.

Geochemist Frannie Smith would like to see more girls get into science like she did. Women make up only about 25 percent of geoscientists in the U.S. and only a quarter of all the scientists or engineers at the Pacific Northwest National Lab in Washington state are female.

For the fifth time in 15 years, the state of Washington is fighting the federal government in court over Hanford cleanup. The state’s top cleanup watchdog in Richland -- who grew up just downstream from the nuclear site -- plays a major role in that case

On November 10, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of the Interior will enter into an agreement establishing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

Highway sign on a road entering the Hanford Site
Wikipedia Photo/Ellery (CC BY SA 3.0)/http://bit.ly/1LnhFqH

David Hyde speaks with attorney Richard Eymann about the history of 'Hanford downwinders' -- people who believed they suffered health problems after being exposed to radiation from the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

After more than two decades of fighting in court, the Hanford Downwinders case has ended. The approximately 3,000 Downwinders have all either dropped their claims or arrived at a settlement.

In southeast Washington state, a group of farms has been frozen in time. It’s at Hanford, the area the federal government took over to make plutonium during World War II.

Part of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation in eastern Washington.
Flickr photo/ Philo Nordlund

Kim Malcolm speaks with Anna King of Northwest News Network about the most recent lawsuit involving the Hanford nuclear site in eastern Washington.

Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson Wednesday announced a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Energy and some of its contractors over worker safety at the Hanford nuclear site.

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